Cyprus will have mobile traffic cameras in place by next year and a full system up and running by 2022, Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou said on Sunday.
The issue has been going on since 2006.
Anastasiadou said the bidding process for the €35m system would last three months, which will be followed by an evaluation and the awarding of the contract, and “it is hoped by 2020 to at least have the mobile cameras” the minister said.
She said it would positively contribute to road safety. “Where this system has been implemented it has shown that accidents have been reduced dramatically but also the number of deaths from accidents,” she added.
By 2022, the minister said 90 fixed cameras would be in place at accident black spots, and 20 mobile units would also be in use.
After years of delays, the latest was said to be due to the ministry decided to choose a more sophisticated system, which can photograph vehicles from the front and back.
As well as recording speed, they can also check for other violations such as not wearing a seatbelt, talking on the phone while driving, driving through a red light and crossing the white line at the traffic lights.
The request by police in mid-2018 came after the initial plan by the ministry was to install cameras that only photographed vehicles from behind.
The changes were to delay the previous plan by about a year as the tender process will now need to account for the new, more sophisticated cameras.
In late July 2018, the ministry’s initial plan was to have the tender process completed and the first cameras installed by the first quarter of 2019.
A traffic-cams network was set up in 2006 but was quickly discarded. The cameras had numerous problems, including failure to store photographs, and extensive bureaucracy that in some cases resulted in fining a person twice for the same violation while letting others go unpunished.
The cameras were taken down in 2007 and in 2008 it was announced that new cameras would be put up by 2010. In 2011 the Tender Review Board challenged the specifications outlined in the process and cancelled the government’s plan for the fifth time. Failing to find a way of effectively setting up the system, the government decided to outsource the venture to a private firm.
The ministry of finance has decided to fund the latest attempt using a private company and will do so in one-year instalments over five years. The company that is chosen will install the cameras and be responsible for their functionality over those five years.